JPMorgan Chase Bank has finalized a settlement that will pay the federal government $45 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it cheated military veterans and taxpayers out of millions of dollars by hiding illegal fees in Veterans Affairs home mortgage refinancing transactions and then seeking to collect on voided government loan guarantees.
The case is still pending against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, Suntrust Mortgage, Washington Mutual Bank, PNC Bank (which acquired National City Mortgage Co.), Countrywide Home Loans, Mortgage Investors Corp., and First Tennessee Bank (which acquired First Horizon Home Loan Corp.).
This ‘qui tam’ (whistleblower) lawsuit, brought under the False Claims Act by two whistleblowers, seeks to recover this money on behalf of the U.S. government from eight banks and mortgage companies.
JPMorgan Chase Bank is the first to settle these claims. Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer LLP partnered with Wilbanks & Bridges LLP and Phillips & Cohen LLP to pursue the lawsuit on behalf of the whistleblowers and the government.